Limits to local adaptation: some impacts of temperature on Nucella emarginata differ among populations, while others do not
Predicting future impacts of temperature change require consideration of multiple impacts of temperature on organisms from different populations. We explored the impacts of temperature on feeding, growth, and mortality of emarginated dogwhelks, Nucella emarginata, from three populations (34.459, −120.473; 34.435, −119.930; 34.355, −119.441) that are separated by a total distance of <100 km. Collections and experiments took place September–December 2012. Populations differed both in the number of mussels consumed at 16 and 20 °C and in the difference in feeding at these temperatures. Despite differences in feeding, increases in whelk mortality with temperature did not differ among populations, and in the 16 °C treatment changes in whelk mass did not differ among populations. These results indicate population-specific responses may differ even among geographically close populations. However, some traits may be more adaptable than others and impacts of a given change may be limited by various constraints (e.g., changes in feeding may accompany changes in metabolic needs). Improving our predictions of climate change impacts will require considering these issues, which may be especially important for marine communities where species differ widely in developmental mode, population connectivity, and other traits which may affect responses to changing temperatures.
Maps were made with data provided via Natural Earth, and sea surface temperature data was compiled and made available by the Scripps Photobiology Group.
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